Firstly I must take this opportunity, on behalf of the Association, to wish all players and their families a very enjoyable and safe Christmas and New Year 2018.
Our Association was delighted to receive recognition in March this year as one of the two ‘Clubs of the Year’ in the Preston Sports Awards presentation at the Guild Hall with Bryan Walker receiving the trophy on our behalf. The numbers of players attending the coaching and community sessions and playing in the league and cup competitions remains consistently high and we continue to promote participation in table tennis both locally at events and regionally with Preston City teams competing across the North West.
We are pleased with the upgrade to the Centre lighting and will continue to monitor the provided illuminance levels; player feedback has been positive. The transition in May to the Centre management and staffing being provided by the Cardinal Newman College, rather than the City Council, has also gone smoothly- our partnership with the College is very well-established.
The Association remains in an excellent financial position - thanks to our Treasurers ‘team’ Dave and Debbie Nickeas; please continue to assist them in performing their role.
We have been fortunate to receive two separate generous donations recently. The donation from the estate of the late Bill Walsh has been spent on a display cabinet which has now been installed in the office and a new trophy for the Preston Annual Singles Championships - this will be presented for the first time following the 2018 tournament in March. The second anonymous donation will be used to replace many of the nets used on the tables at the Centre and to purchase a considerable supply of training balls to be used in our coaching sessions.
The League and Cup competitions appear to be generally competitive at the halfway point of the season and are running relatively smoothly. The revised scoring method, adopted at May’s Annual General Meeting, of counting ‘games rather than sets’ in use in the leagues will be evaluated at the end of the season. Whilst the Divisional Cups are now completed up to the semi final stage, the Handicap Cup is still only at the second round. Some close games are being recorded – congratulations go to the handicap setting team! Special mention as always goes to Tony Rigby and Andrew White for their sterling work during 2017 in organising the league and cup competition fixtures.
The performance of the various Preston teams participating regionally at Senior, Vets and Junior/ Cadet level continues to be very competitive. The 2017 summer league programme, organised by Barry Crook, was yet again a great success and very popular. If you would like to play this coming summer, then as usual you need to register your interest with Barry and assemble your teams/ players early.
We are always open to feedback on the Preston Table Tennis 365 website and any suggestions for improvements; particular thanks go to Andrew White and Paul Grayham for their continuing support in maintaining the site, and to Bryan Walker for keeping league results up to date – please provide your completed scorecards promptly and accurately to ensure the currency of the site
I must convey my thanks as usual to our very experienced committee and indeed all the members of the Association, in helping to maintain the reputation of Preston Table Tennis locally within the Preston Sports community and across the North West. We have retained our Table Tennis England Premier Club accreditation and continue to try to develop the coaching and playing opportunities available to PTTA members.
We are very conscious of the need to reinforce our coaching team and I would stress that the Association will support interested players financially in acquiring their coaching accreditation. Our more experienced coaches continue to give remarkable service to Preston table tennis. For example, there may be difficulties across Europe but there is very little sign of any ‘Cleggxit’ yet!
We are always keen to see players attending both the coaching activities on Monday evenings (particularly younger players) and the community sessions on
Fridays, so if you have colleagues/ friends who might be interested, please let them know.
I must thank all the people who volunteer as both coaches and ‘helpers’ on the various coaching nights and support PTTA events and particularly the Club Secretaries. I would ask again all players to please support the Secretaries, the MRC and the running of the League by being absolutely clear regarding your availability to play in scheduled matches.
In closing, may I finally wish you all the very best for the remainder of the season, and thank you in advance for your continuing support to Preston Table Tennis through 2018 - the 90th Anniversary of the Association!
Our annual Preston Closed Championships will be held on Sunday 4th March, 2018.Entry forms will be out shortly from Andrew White; please support our annual championship